Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

Evictions of roadside Gypsy and Traveller encampments during the Coronavirus emergency

We have seen reports on social media that CLP have said that no evictions can take place at the moment. This is not correct.

An amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules has stayed all Part 55 possession actions for 90 days which includes eviction actions on rented sites and any attempt to evict an unauthorised encampment using Part 55. We have stressed that actions under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (CJPOA) 1994 ss61,62 and 62A-E remain a possibility but we are hopeful that the police will not be using these actions. Section 77 action remains a possibility. We have last week had a case involving Gloucestershire County Council where the local magistrates have said they will not hold such hearings during the lockdown. However this does not mean that section 77 action will not be taken elsewhere. Hence we have just finalised a letter to the Lord Chancellor asking him to halt all evictions under the powers in CJPOA 1994.

Our advice line (0121 685 8677) remains open Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and we are happy to talk to people about these issues especially regarding any eviction action or any threatened evictions and also the issue of provision of services to roadside encampments. In the current situation we think that provision of services such as water and sanitation by local authorities to roadside encampments comes close to being an obligation rather than a discretion.